The head of Republican presidential candidate and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ super PAC has resigned amid internal turmoil within the organization over its strategy moving forward into 2024.
Chris Jankowski, a veteran operative in Republican politics, submitted his resignation letter, effective immediately, to the board of Never Back Down on Wednesday.
“Never Back Down’s main goal and sole focus has been to elect Governor Ron DeSantis as President. Given the current environment, it has become untenable for me to deliver on the shared goal and that goes well beyond a difference of strategic opinion. For the future of our country, I support and pray Ron DeSantis is our 47th president,” Jankowski said in a statement shared by Never Back Down.
The group has played a significant role in DeSantis’ bid for the presidency since he launched his campaign in May, including raising nine figures to serve as an attack dog and media juggernaut for the governor.
However, the operation has failed to help DeSantis break through the crowded Republican presidential field and be seen as the main challenger to former President Donald Trump’s grip on the GOP. Polls have shown DeSantis consistently in a statistical tie for second place with some of his opponents, fluctuating between former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy.
According to one recent NBC News report, frustration had been building in the ranks of Never Back Down, which culminated in a heated meeting last week that nearly broke out into a fist fight.
The report said that Never Back Down’s top consultant, Axiom Strategies CEO Jeff Roe, and longtime DeSantis associate Scott Wagner clashed during the board meeting that resulted in them having to be restrained.
Despite the turmoil, DeSantis’ campaign did see a bright spot on Tuesday when it won the endorsement of influential Iowa Christian leader Bob Vander Plaats.
Fox has reached out to Never Back Down and the DeSantis campaign for comment.
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